• The trial will see 12 pharmacies and two regional health clinics collect blister packs from the public for recycling.
    The trial will see 12 pharmacies and two regional health clinics collect blister packs from the public for recycling.

Territory Pharmacy has launched the first free, territory-wide blister pack recycling program in the Northern Territory, in partnership with recycling company TerraCycle.

The Territory Pharmacy Blister Pack Free Recycling Program says it will accept all brands of empty blister packs and medication packs with an initial pilot in 12 participating Territory Pharmacies, and two regional health clinics before expanding into other locations.

As part of this new collection program, the pharmacies and clinics will operate as drop-off points where Territorians can leave their empty blister and medication packs for recycling in collection boxes. The company says this will soon be expanded to include 60 remote health clinics.

Territory Pharmacy’s CEO and registered pharmacist, Steven Kong said, “The launch of the program will signify a significant step in providing free recycling opportunities for hard-to-recycle waste in remote regions. For over 20 years, our group’s community pharmacies have been delivering pharmacy, health and wellbeing services to the Darwin, Katherine, and Alice Springs regions. The ability to offer a sustainable recycling solution for our community now is a great success.

“By establishing collection points at pharmacies and regional clinics across the Territory, this free program will transform recycling accessibility for communities that are traditionally underserved when it comes to local recycling options.”

Jean Bailliard, general manager of TerraCycle Australia, said through the program, blister packs that were otherwise destined for landfill would be recycled.

“Blister packs are composed of various plastics, foils, and paper foils which pose a challenge for standard kerbside bin recycling. Each year, this contributes to a substantial volume of plastic waste directed to landfills, where it takes hundreds of years to break down.

Collected blister packs undergo shredding, and then the plastic is separated from the aluminum through elutriation (air density separation). Separating the plastic from the aluminium also requires an additional process of micronisation, which converts the material into powder. Once converted into powder, the remaining aluminium is removed through electrostatic separation.”

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